Concept albums are something of a rarity in 2016, however the year is young and one band recently dropped their debut album that will ignite a trilogy of concept albums; Opium Denn. It becomes obvious quickly that Opium Denn is not an ordinary band, for starters the band only has one member, this individual wears a mask while performing and refers to himself in third person as Opium Denn. The album Demarkation is somewhere between progressive rock and psychedelic rock, but the real question is if it is as enjoyable as it is unusual?
Demarkation is the concept of living a life from birth until death, and back again. What exactly that means is at the expense of the listener to decipher. Opium Denn is a musical composite that is not in the music business for money, rather using art to express and create for those that also feel life is some kind of “chaotic adventure.”
“I am a feeling, maybe nothing more.”
The album has a series of unusual music videos on YouTube. Each track represents an episode, with the album ending after nine tracks. Each music video is symbolic of the theme, but told through the lives of moving dolls. This concept album is to be the first in a trilogy of planned concept albums. Opium Denn has stated in an interview that the band would not be playing live shows until the second album, Oh Cezar, is finished.
Two versions of the album exist. One uses Health-Science Technologies, or specific vibrations, to help induce a “letting go” type of mindset, this is to help the listener more naturally reflect and explore the inner mind. This version of the album comes with warnings about operating motor vehicles and seizures. The second version of the album is the same in every way minus the use of Health-Science Vibrations (HEV). Below is a soundcloud link where both versions of the album can be heard for no cost, although the HEV edition is recommended.
It would be fair to describe this album as progressive rock although it feels just as much like classic rock or psychedelic as Pink Floyd does. Actually, quite a bit of the album has no vocals, which is just fine because the instrumentation of the album is very synchronized. Additionally, the Stratocaster (lead guitar) is played exceptionally expressively. The album’s use of recurring melodies and vocals is reminiscent of the way life keeps bringing the past back into our lives inescapably.
“Didn’t know that my yesterday was really the way I like to feel.”
In the end, Opium Denn’s debut album Demarkation is a unique river winding down the passage of the mind: it is psychedelic, it is reflective and it is something classic rock fans will swoon over, from the savory guitar solos to the recurring melodies and structure. A relaxing rock album like this almost feels out-of-place in 2016, but it is certainly appreciated.
Underground Examinations is a series of Independent Music Reviews with the intention of giving new music a fair and appropriate opportunity to be enjoyed.